We all have secrets in our past that we would rather people did not know about, and sometimes that can be even more important if those secrets might end up affecting our livelihoods.
June had just been appointed CEO other charity that was supplying Schools with teachers, in the Philippines. She was very pleased with the appointment and it was something she had worked towards for many years. She has become a figurehead for the charity, and others like it, making many television appearances, and constantly being asked to speak at public events and for newspaper articles. She travelled widely addressing symposia and conferences all over the Philippines and the world.
A year into her new job she received a very worrying email. The email was from somebody who had a video of her doing a striptease at a drunken student party back in her university days.
The threat was that if she did not pay her blackmailers her new employers based in Manila would receive copies of the video. At first June tried to rationalise that a lot of people may have indulged in similarly reckless and unsavoury behaviour while they were in college. Was it that important?
Alison thought of the name she had already made herself, how she was a regular on morning television show, reporting on updates on charities and their efforts both at home and abroad. She could be considered almost a household name. Would the press make anything of this if the video got out? You bet they would! June was not naïve enough to think that the press would pass up an opportunity to splash her pixelated Image over the front pages. She could just imagine the headlines:
Manila Philippines based Charity supremo in stripping scandal!
At ABCIPI London - Manila - we already knew June because earlier in her career with the charity she had contacted us for help with uncovering a charity collection scam in the UK. Luckily she remembered that too, and turned to us for help with this blackmail attempt. She was extremely upset, when she came to our London office, so initially we asked one of our female operatives to speak to her. Once we had the whole story from June we took the video and email address and traced where the communication had come from. We advised June that she should not under any circumstances pay the blackmailers even so much as a penny, because in our experience, once money has been paid over, more requests will swiftly follow.
At the Forefront of Cyber crime investigation
Because we consider ourselves at the forefront of cyber crime investigation, it did not take the ABCIPI team long to discover where the threat to June was coming from. We managed to get not only the location but the actual physical address of the person who had sent the email, attempting to blackmail June. With that information we were able to give all the details to June, now back in Manila, so that she could take them to the police.
The blackmailer turned out to be an old friend of June’s and the person who had the video cam in their hands that night. It did not surprise us to hear that unlike June, this woman had dropped out of college, had no work but obviously did have a massive dose of jealousy.
Once the police had arrested and charged the blackmailer, we went to court in London with June to give our evidence in the case. I think it is true to say that the blackmailer had the shock of her life, and I am fairly certain that she will never try anything similar again. To add to her unemployment she now has a criminal record, but June has gone from strength to strength, and deservedly so.
At ABCIPI we have a lot of experience in the area of blackmail, fraud and sextortion. If you are facing a threat, as Alison did, don’t keep it to yourself. Whatever you’re being blackmailed about, and believe us we heard it all, contact us now at ABCIPI for a free and confidential initial chat.
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